Teacher shortage becoming a growing concern in Hawaii

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HONOLULU (AP) — The number of Hawaii teachers quitting their jobs and leaving the state is becoming a growing concern.

The state's high cost of living and low salaries are among the factors driving away Hawaii teachers.

Department of Education employment reports show that 411 teacher resigned and left the state in 2016-17, up from 223 in 2010.

Fewer graduates from Hawaii teacher education programs are entering the profession.

Hawaii Teachers Association President Corey Rosenlee told the Board of Education's Human Resources Committee Thursday that the number of graduates joining the Department of Education fell by nearly 30 percent, from 545 in the 2010-11 school year to 387 in 2016-17.

Rosenlee says nationally, the interest in an education major has dropped.

Schools Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto says the special education teacher shortage needs to be addressed first.

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